Sig Air M17 ProForce airsoft pistol: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Sig M17 Proforce airsoft pistol
Sig M17 ProForce airsoft pistol.
This report covers:

  • ProForce line
  • CO2 powered
  • Blowback
  • Slide release
  • Weight
  • Trigger
  • Safety
  • Sights
  • Price
  • Disassembly
  • I own the firearm and the BB gun
  • The tests
  • Summary

Today we begin looking at the Sig Air M17 ProForce airsoft pistol. As many already know, the M17 is the official sidearm of the United States military, with the more compact M18 being issued to elite troops and some others. I have already reviewed the P320 M17 pellet/BB pistol and I also have the P320 M17 9X18mm firearm that I have not yet reviewed for you. This airsoft pistol fits nicely within that group.

ProForce line

The ProForce line of airsoft guns was designed by Sig to use as training tools by the users of the identical firearms. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard currently carries the Sig P229 pistol in .40 caliber, and they will be issuing the Sig M18 in the future. They elected to buy the ProForce P229 airsoft pistol for training. It’s close to what they now carry and won’t be that much different when they switch to the M18. The ProForce P229 is a close cousin of the ProForce M17 airsoft pistol I am testing.

CO2 powered

This 6mm airsoft pistol comes with an extended magazine to fit a 12-gram CO2 cartridge that powers the gun. Sig also makes a green gas magazine for this pistol and I hope to receive that magazine, too, so I can test it for you. The pistol that was sent to me for this test has just the CO2 magazine, but it is a ProForce gun that is set up to work with both magazines. Like most repeating air pistols, the magazine houses the firing valve.

The smoothbore pistol I’m testing fires a 0.20-gram 6mm plastic BB at 410 f.p.s. on CO2. When operating on green gas the velocity is 320 f.p.s., which is 90 f.p.s. slower. The slower velocity generates 1 joule of energy (0.74 foot-pounds) at the muzzle with a 0.20-gram BB. In some countries the lower velocity/power may be legal while the higher is not. In the U.S. both are legal. Naturally there is an adjustable Hop Up to tune the pistol to a specific brand of BB.

Blowback

This is a true semiautomatic air pistol with full blowback of the metal slide. Like the firearm, the frame that carries the slide is polymer with metal inserts at critical points for wear. That’s the way most modern firearm pistols are designed these days. Remember, the U.S. military as well as law enforcement agencies around the world are carrying millions of these types of firearms, so ruggedness isn’t an issue. In fact, several longevity tests have demonstrated they are more rugged than all-metal handguns.

Slide release
The slide stays back after the last BB is fired. That alerts the shooter that it’s time to reload. The magazine release can then be worked with the thumb of the firing hand, and the magazine drops away from the gun freely. As long as you have another magazine that’s charged with CO2 and loaded with airsoft BBs, you’re ready to go. Magazine swaps can be made in seconds and the ambidextrous slide release (yes there is one on both sides of the slide) is also operable with the thumb of the shooting hand.

Weight

With a CO2 cartridge installed the M17 ProForce airsoft pistol weighs 28 oz. The unloaded P230 M17 firearm pistol with a standard magazine weighs 29 oz. That’s pretty darn close! The airsoft gun doesn’t gain much weight when all 21 BBs are loaded but the 17-round firearm does get noticeably heavier when its magazine is full of 9mm cartridges.

Trigger

The trigger of the test pistol is single action only, which means that the slide has to be racked (pulled back all the way) to cock the striker/hammer before the pistol will shoot. That is identical to the trigger on my P320 M17 firearm. The slide on the airsoft pistol is super easy to rack. The firearm slide is somewhat harder to rack, but still not hard. The pellet/BB pistol has a trigger that’s double action only, so racking is unnecessary.

I haven’t tested the airsoft pistol trigger yet, of course, but while just fooling with it, it seems close to the pull of the firearm trigger. And both of them are decent.

Safety

There is an ambidextrous safety lever (a lever on either side of the slide that will put the gun on safe). I can put it on and take it off with the thumb of my gun hand. I can do the same with my firearm pistol. The manual says there is a red dot on the frame to tell the shooter whether the safety is on, but the test pistol does not have one.

Sights

The pistol has fixed sights. One white dot in front and two in the rear simulate the tritium night sights on the firearm.

Price

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for this pistol is $179.99, which puts it into the higher-end category. This is a category that is starting to populate with several airguns that are close copies of law enforcement and military arms. They all seem to be designed with training in mind, so perhaps we are seeing a new market in development.

Disassembly

An airsoft pistol at this level has to disassemble, and indeed this one does. In fact, I found disassembly of the airsoft pistol so quick and easy that after I was done with it I disassembled my firearm for the first time. Man, did Sig make it easy for a guy who grew up on 1911s!

 Sig M17 slide off
The slide comes off the frame in seconds. The toothed wheel in the center of the slide is the gear for the Hop Up adjustment.

I own the firearm and the BB gun

I am fortunate to review this airsoft pistol because I also own the firearm and the pellet/BB pistol. I don’t have to wonder how those two feel or operate — I can test them side-by-side as I’m examining this airgun! And as you can tell — I have been doing just that!

Sig M17 3 guns
Here they are. M17 BB gun on top, firearm in the middle and airsoft gun on the bottom.

The tests

I have a good supply of 0.20 and 0.25-gram BBs, so the accuracy test will be quite thorough. When I test the green gas mag I may even try shooting lighter BBs.

Summary

The Sig ProForce M17 airsoft pistol is a high-end airsoft gun that will be my pleasure to test for you. And this is a preamble to a larger series in which I test the firearm, pellet/BB gun and, where possible, airsoft gun side-by-side for training value. Stay tuned!

29 thoughts on “Sig Air M17 ProForce airsoft pistol: Part 1

  1. I was going to say I was interested in how the green gas works out. But seen that the velocity is slower so probably not interested in the green gas. But then again if velocity is more stable with green gas when rapid firing than Co2. Then I am interested in the green gas. Oh and I do like that both options are available and work with the same pistol.

    Definitely interested in seeing how well this pistol shoots though.

    And one more thing. Wonder why they didn’t make the air soft pistol only have 17 rounds like the firearm since it will be used for training. You know learning shot counting. Well I guess you can only load 17 air soft balls rather than 21 for that purpose.



  2. Elmer Keith is rolling over in his grave. When are they going to make an airsoft RPG 7?
    The best guns have already been invented, they’re just not in production anymore.
    I’d have an FG42, you know. just in case. but it’s out of my price range.
    Now the ASP20 in .22 has been buggin’ me. So hard to choose!
    Have a nice day.
    1stblue


  3. Everyone,

    BB was very confused this morning and I told you about two airsoft guns that do not exist. The ProForce line currently encompasses all the airsoft guns Sig makes. I mentioned there were two other AIRSOFT pistols that were each dedicated to either CO2 or Green Gas. That is simply not true. There is only the ProForce airsoft line.

    What I told you about the M17 ProForce pistol is correct, and I have removed the confusing information that was published earlier. I’m sorry for the confusion, but sometimes I don’t get things right the first time around!

    B.B.


  4. Hey Everybody!

    It has been a while since I have mentioned it, but on the 18th and 19th of October there is the 7th Annual North Carolina Airgun Show in Hickory, NC.

    http://www.tmacsairgunservice.com/page/airgunshow

    This is a real big show. The last time I was there it was at least twice as big as the Roanoke show. There will literally be hundreds of airguns there. They also have a place to shoot out back. If plans go well I will be there on the 19th.

    Come on down!


  5. Vana2

    Hank,

    Sorry I’m a day late and a dollar short but I have an excuse! Been off grid down at my cabin for the last week. As usual the first thing I catch up on after getting home is the blog. Was impressed with your DIY range box, but what really caught my attention was the picture of the TX 200 sitting on the box!

    My question to you is, is it my imagination or is the bluing on the rear top of the spring tube under the scope getting awfully thin or is it just the photo lighting? As it is a right hand stock and there’s no pistol grip to grasp when cocking, could it be that’s where the palm of your right hand rests when cocking the rifle?

    Inquiring minds just need to know!

    Have a good one

    Bob F


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